On April 8, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome. It successfully sent the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS, carrying four participants of the Ax-1 mission. Already on April 9, it will have to dock with the orbital complex.
Ax-1 will go down in the annals of world cosmonautics as the first commercial manned mission in history. In contrast to the Inspiration4 tourist mission launched in September last year, Ax-1 participants underwent more intensive training and will have to carry out a number of experiments. The flight is considered as the first step towards the construction of a private segment of the ISS, which will later become a separate orbital station.
To launch the Ax-1, an already flying Falcon 9 stage was used. For it, this was the fifth flight into space. After separating from the carrier, it made a successful landing on an autonomous barge in the Atlantic Ocean. As for the crew capsule (its name is Endeavour), this is the third space mission for it.
After docking with the ISS, the Ax-1 crew will spend eight days on board the station. The flight program provides for the execution of several dozen experiments and applied research from private customers, with a total duration of over one hundred hours. This is another reason why the Ax-1 crew members consider themselves private astronauts, and not space tourists. The mission’s return to Earth is scheduled for April 18.
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